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CONy 2020 | Cycad toxins driving the ALS-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex

Peter Spencer, PhD, FANA, FRCPath, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, discusses the role of toxins in the ALS-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex. The ALS-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex was found to be hyperendemic in Guam, in the Kii Peninsula of Japan, and among a tribal group in West New Guinea. Originally, it was thought to be a hereditary disease, but with its decline, over the past 60 years, other factors are being considered. It is thought that the consumption of cycads as emergency food in times of natural disaster could be responsible. It is the toxin in the cycad seeds that is considered the principal driver of the ALS-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex. This interview took place during the Virtual World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) 2020.